I have many things to thank my mother for, but one of these would be her unrelenting vocational advice given at a time when I was so lost. Like your typical young adult, I never appreciated it. And like your typical Filipino young adult, I submitted.
I never wanted to be a school librarian. I dreamt of being a teacher or a writer. But mothers know best, as they say. My mother probably had a vision of how the profession would be taking shape in the future. She was, after all, a librarian herself. Or, she really knew me inside out that a career in librarianship would lead me to the two things I love – teaching and writing.
So far, in my ten years as a school librarian, I had the opportunity to be both a teacher and a writer. I found how useful teaching and writing can be with in the context of library work. Teaching is my vehicle to reach out to children and teachers, my primary clients. Writing empowers me to continue the advocacy for a more progressive school library services and the promotion of a reading culture among the young and the growing. This mother’s day I pay tribute to my mom, who, despite her flaws and eccentricities, brings out the best in me.
I give the same reverence to two librarians in the discipline who are both mothers too, Dir. Lou David of the Rizal Library, Ateneo De Manila University and Dr. Mary Orendain of the Philippine Normal University. To me, they will forever be my “professional mothers” who helped me grow my own wings. They may not know it, but they are both instrumental in firming up my belief that librarians can bridge gaps and break barriers. They walked into my life (on separate occasions, though) at a time when I was desperately looking for role models in the discipline.
Come to think of it, there are a good number of mother-daughter librarians in Philippine Librarianship. It is a small circle. Let me count.
There is Petite Capitin-Geronimo of ADB, whose mother is a retired librarian. Her mom, if I am not mistaken, worked for the National Library for a good number of years. Then there is Mikee Soriano of Ateneo Grade School, daughter of Lou Soriano, PLAP President. Audrey Anday of UP Open University is daughter to Vilma Anday of UP Los Banos. If I may push the family tree a little bit further, Joy Nera from Assumption San Lorenzo is daughter in law of Cora Nera, one of the most fashionable librarians in the Philippines today.
Five pairs. Not bad. Should my reader want more of this trivia, I refer Mr. Dante Perez for more. He has a penchant for remembering facts and figures when it comes to Philippine Librarianship in general.
To end this post, allow me to recommend three titles of picture-story books that both mother and child will enjoy. After the day’s celebration, end it with a comforting personal or fictional story that would remind the reader and listener the enduring qualities of a mother’s love.
Munsch, Robert. Love you forever. Canada : Firelfy Book, 1986.
A touching story of life’s cycle as seen through a mother’s perspective. Sheila McGraw illuminates the lasting relationship of a mother to her son with her illustrations. A perfect bedtime story that encourages the adult reader to sing the story’s lullaby to the listening child.
Remigio, Ompong. Papel de Liha. Quezon Ciy : Adarna House, 1996.
A child wonders why her aunt compared her mother’s hands to sand paper. The little girl finds the answer to her question through her mother’s many loving ways. Beth Parrocha-Doctolero illustrated the pictures. Written in Filipino with English translation.
Villanueva, Rene. Ang Makapangyarihang Kyutiks ni Mama. Quezon City : Adarna House, 2002.
What is the similarity between a doctor and a woman who paints finger nails and toe nails for a living? Perhaps nothing. Find out why it is so in this entertaining picture-story book by Rene Villanueva. Ferdinand Guevarra provides cartoonish illustrations using paper sculpture technique and mixed media!
Happy Mother’s Day!